Minnesota House leaders talk Vikings stadium, voter ID

House debate
In a 2011 file photo, Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, debates a point with Rep. Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington during a special session at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul.
MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel

A Vikings stadium bill is expected to make its debut at the Capitol Monday. Talks over a new home for the NFL franchise have been going on for the last 14 months, but there's been no bill for lawmakers to debate.

Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers was on The Daily Circuit Monday and said that he won't be fast-tracking the bill to try to reach a stadium deal this year.

"I don't believe that pushing a bill to fund a stadium is showing leadership," he said. "I think allowing it a fair and open process at the Capitol, meaning that it will go through the committee process just like any other bill, both for the members that are going to be voting on it but most importantly, the most critical part, is that the public has the chance to actually weigh in on this."

DFL House Minority Leader Paul Thissen also joined The Daily Circuit Monday and said he still isn't sure that the details of the financing have been worked out.

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"First of all, we want to make sure that the funding that is going to be used is actually going to be there for the long term," he said. "And I think there are some questions about whether this electronic pull tab proposal is actually going to generate the kind of revenue that people are expecting it or projecting it to generate."

Charitable gambling operators have raised objections to the proposed legalization of electronic pull tabs. They say the state is pledging too much money to a stadium and not enough to the charities that already sponsor gambling in Minnesota bars and restaurants. The money raised from pull-tabs is slated to pay about 40 percent of the cost of a new stadium. The city of Minneapolis has pledged about $150 million more, and the Vikings have offered to pay about $425 million.

This is the second year in a row that a Vikings stadium bill has been introduced at the Capitol. Last year, the measure never got a committee hearing during the session.

Minnesota's Senate leaders will be on The Daily Circuit Wednesday.